The word "hacking" can inspire a dramatic image of a guy hunched over his computer at all hours of the night, cracking a password, and stealing a million dollars for himself.
The truth is that these incidents pretty much never happen. Except for when they do.
"White hat" hacking is a situation in which someone uses a computer to improve computer security.
"Black hat" hacking is the seedier Hollywood side of the coin. It's name given to efforts to circumvent and take advantage of computer security.
People have been using computers and related systems to cheat, prank, and get ahead almost since their inception.
Here's a very brief history of black hat hacking.
1960s: Things begin at MIT
The earliest modern computer hackers converge at MIT. They take the term "hack" from the school's Tech Model Railroad Club, which referred to reworking trains to enhance their performance and run differently.
1971: John Draper calls around the world for free
John Draper, or "Captain Crunch," kicked off the phone phreaking movement when he discovered he could use a toy whistle to emulate tones used by the phone company to activate long distance services. He ended up making all kinds of phone calls on the telephone company's dime.
(The whistle came for free in a box of Cap'n Crunch cereal.)
1983: WarGames is released
The movie "WarGames" is released, telling the story of a hacker who accesses a supercomputer designed to run nuclear war simulations. Believing it to be a game, he runs the program and nearly starts World War III.
The movie helped bring the idea of "hacking" to the public consciousness in a huge way.
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
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